A Philosopher's Blog

Mormon vs Mormon

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on June 24, 2011
Governor Mitt Romney of MA

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While Mitt Romney seems to be leading the Republican pack, Jon Huntsman has thrown his hat into the ring. Huntsman was a rather successful governor and was appointed by Obama as the ambassador to China. He, like Romney, is also a Mormon.

The Mormon faith is still looked at as being a bit odd, at least by mainstream Americans. This has raised some questions in certain circles as to whether or not a Mormon could be elected president. Since the same sort of thing was asked about Roman Catholics not too long ago (and answered by the election of Kennedy), I suspect that this will not be a major factor. As such, I think that both Romney and Huntsman will not find their chances diminished by their religion (at least not significantly).

Huntsman’s major worry at this point is not how people see his faith. Rather, it is his perceived dalliance with Real America’s greatest enemy: the Democrats. As noted above, Huntsman was appointed by Obama to be the ambassador to China. He can probably avoid the damage from this by contending that he was not serving the Democrats but was serving America. Of course, he will still have that Obama taint upon him. His family also gave money to help Harry Reid get elected and he also appointed Reid’s son to the Uta Board of Regents, which has raised some concerns among the Republican loyalists. He is, of course, trying to put as much distance between himself and Reid as possible and this nicely illustrates how cross-party interaction is viewed these days. However, Huntsman’s conservative credentials can probably be beefed up enough to make him more appealing to the base, while making him less appealing to the middle.

Romney also has the Democratic taint upon him. His stint as governor of Massachusetts left him with some liberal seeming marks on his record, such as Romneycare. As such, he will need to work hard to disavow his own successes as governor in order to appeal to the more conservative elements of the party. As with the other candidates, the more he steers right to appease certain base elements, the more he will move away from the moderate voters.

As such, both Mormon candidates need to worry more about the liberal/Democrat taint on them than they need to worry about how their faith might be perceived. Of course, the Mormon factor might be more significant than I believe-perhaps America is not ready for a Mormon president.

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21 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on June 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Contrary to media assertions, moderate Republicans do exist. Even those “extremist” Tea Partiers are extreme because–gasp!–they want us to balance the budget and live within our means. We can’t have that now, can we, as that means we would have to kill Granny.

    • magus71 said, on June 25, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Still can’t figure out what’s so extreme about the Tea Party….

      • frk said, on June 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm

        Given that the general attitude they project is that Obama’s every breath represents a threat to the republic and all for which it stands, I “still can’t figure out” how the Tea Party managed to hold off its “spontaneous becoming” until a month or less after Obama was inaugurated. E’en so, his first pee had hardly had a chance to cool in the Oval Office* bathroom toilet before they combusted onto the scene. Couldn’t TP’ers have popped onto the scene in the early afternoon of January 20, 2009?.

        Or, since Bush was a RINO** and had, according to the history, been ringing his own variations on “The Things Tea Partiers Would Have Hated (If We Had Existed)” since at least ’03 —Medicaid D, privacy, deficits. . . they could have justly organized their sorry butts earlier and accomplished something years earlier.

        *There is a bathroom in there, isn’t there? Presidents do micturate, right?

        **The mostly silent minority say they felt this way during the Bush reign. They probably held their noses or whatever with their left hands and pulled the handles for Bush at the voting booths with their right hands.

  2. T. J. Babson said, on June 24, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Among all politicians, who is serious about tackling the real problem of soaring deficits?


    New figures released Wednesday by the CBO show debt rising to 190 percent of the gross domestic product by 2035. Economists have warned that exceeding 90 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) is a prescription for a debt crisis.

    “The current level of debt is reducing our output, our incomes relative to what would be the case if we had a lower level of debt, leaving aside the effects of this particular recession, which complicate that,” Elmendorf said Thursday.

    “Over the longer period of this kind of analysis, higher levels of debt are more damaging.”
    The annual long-term budget outlook forecasts a surge in public debt this year that will rise to 70 percent of GDP by the end of fiscal 2011, compared with 62 percent by the end of 2010, according to Wednesday’s report.

    The CBO offered two forecasts, each showing fiscal deterioration in the next 25 years.

    The figures are much worse than those released by the CBO a year ago, and Elmendorf made it clear that the current budget framework won’t make inroads to reducing the threat of increasingly damaging debt.

    “We have government programs that provide certain sorts of benefits to older Americans — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” he told the panel.

    “We have a whole lot of other tasks for the government, national defense, homeland security, veterans care and on and on that have, over time, occupied a certain share of GDP. We cannot have all of those same things together in the future, we cannot repeat the past in the federal budget because of the aging of the population and rising healthcare costs.”

    • FRE said, on June 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      Reducing taxes when we were involved in two expensive wars made no sense. In fact, it was total insanity. It appears that many people believe that taxes should never be increased, but should always be reduced.

      Considering that taxes are now much lower than they have been for decades, raising taxes should be an important part of solving the deficit problem; restoring taxes on the extremely wealthy will not hurt the economy. We also have to accept the fact that we cannot continue to be the world’s policeman. There are a number of oppressive dictatorships in the world. Saddam Husssain, though a thug, was not the world’s worst dictator and starting an expensive war with Iraq made no sense. It has been a disaster in a number of ways, including economic.

      And now, back to the subject of the blog. The only problem I would have with electing a Mormon is their proclivity to use the law to enforce their religious beliefs on non-Mormons. Some other religions do the same. An example with the Mormons was their raising funds in other states to defeat same-sex marriage in California. Churches and other religious organizations should not seek to enforce their beliefs on others with the POSSIBLE exception of laws which are necessary for fairness and social justice.

      • Anonymous said, on June 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm

        …and how would they use the law to enforce their religious beliefes on non Mormons? Which laws would they use? Are they going to enforce laws on non Mormons that they would not enforce on Mormons? Which laws to be specific? This is starting to smell like BS.

      • magus71 said, on June 29, 2011 at 1:53 am

        “Saddam Husssain, though a thug, was not the world’s worst dictator”

        Not true. He was the worst.

        “Reducing taxes when we were involved in two expensive wars made no sense.”

        Well, we could leave Afghanistan now, and stop bombing Libya, a country that was no threat at all to the US. This Presidentr could end all of our wars, no?

        The wars are not the problem, economically speaking. Ask Greece.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm

          We have more debt per capita than Greece. But you are right to point out that a country can screw itself in ways that do not involved wars.

          • WTP said, on June 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm

            “We have more debt per capita than Greece”…Putting aside the obvious and equally relevant fact that the US per capita GDP far exceeds that of Greece, can you provide a recent source for this statement? A quick search of Google shows US debt at approximately $45K per capita and Greek debt at around $50K per capita.

  3. Anonymous said, on June 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I brought that debt to GDP ratio up more than a year ago here. I said that if the ratio of debt to GDP gets too hight then there is no going back. The government can run a deficit but money still works the same was as in your personal budgets. Math still works the same way. ‘We have a problem Houston’, because of the perspective that so called experts look at the situation. Here is a perfect example. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/geithner-taxes-small-business-must-rise

    • magus71 said, on June 25, 2011 at 1:47 am

      Niall Ferguson, Harvard PHD, says that historically speaking, when a country or empire’s debt surpasses it’s defence spending, (I believe on an annual basis–not sure) the empire inevitably declines. He says we’re about 5 years away from that happening.

      It was nice knowing you America.

  4. jjm said, on June 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    TJ and anonymous,

    Why are we in so much debt? Is it we are spending too much? or we reduced taxes too much at the same time we increased expenses in 2 wars?

    How much responsability do you asigned to W.Bush goverment and the supporters of his policies? How much responsability do you assign at the current administration?

    And finally, if we have to do tough choices, which ones would you pick? Increase taxes in certains areas or better said increase tax revenues. Cut spending but where? Education, Health, Defense, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid?

    Neither I am a conservative nor a republican; I strongly believe in a balanced budget and in living within our means; and I strongly believe that, provided the correct attitude and circunstances, people with different ideas can respectfully discuss them and try to find the best outcome possible. In my mind nobody holds the ultimate truth and I deeply fear those who act like they do; I always believed that in difference we can learn from each other.


    • T. J. Babson said, on June 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm


      The bulk of federal money goes for entitlement spending, mainly social security and medicare. As the ratio of retired people to working people increases, there is pressure on the budget. The poor economy means revenues are down. Medical care costs too much, but Obamacare does nothing to rein in costs, and in fact will put even more pressure on the budget. Democrats do not want to deal with entitlement spending, but would rather use it as a cudgel to beat up on Republicans like Paul Ryan, who is at least making an attempt to reform entitlements.

      At the end of the day we will need a combination of spending cuts, tax increases, and means testing of entitlement programs. But first we need politicians who have the cojones to face the problem.

    • magus71 said, on June 25, 2011 at 1:52 am

      While I’m very critical of the way the Afghan war has been fought ( a campaign promise war to win an election) and the absolute weirdness (and illegality) of our Libyan intervention, and no doubt defense spending will decrease, it is not even close to the primary problem when it comes to budgets.

      Even while fighting three wars ( oh wait, two wars and one kinetic engagement), our defense budget is about half of what it was during the Cold War–and under Eisenhower, we spent a whopping 60% of the GDP on defense (!!).

    • Anonymous said, on June 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Assign the blame as you wish. Who gives a crap at this point if you don’t take action on the blame? Even if you placed 100% of the blame on Bush….who cares? Does it change the situation and what do we do now?

  5. T. J. Babson said, on June 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Check this out:

  6. magus71 said, on July 1, 2011 at 4:35 am

    This was written by President Obama’s cousin:


    In 1932, President Hoover received a letter from a man in Illinois that read simply, “Vote for Roosevelt and make it unanimous.” Based on its recent floundering, it seems even the White House recognizes that Obamanomics has been a disaster. It’s nearly unanimous now.

    When President Reagan entered office, America faced a deep recession with double-digit unemployment and inflation, plus dishearteningly long gas lines. Rather than wasting time blaming his predecessor, the Gipper went right to work unveiling Reaganomics – an embrace of the free market – which included four simple principles: (1) lower tax burden, (2) lower government spending, (3) lower regulatory burden, and (4) a strong dollar monetary policy.

    The top income tax rate was reduced from a stifling 70 percent to a low of 28 percent. Total federal spending was reduced from 23.5 percent of gross domestic product to 21.2 percent. Deregulation ended disastrous price controls and curtailed the government’s micromanaging of private businesses. Disciplined money supply strengthened the dollar.

    As Peter Ferrara, policy adviser to Reagan, has described, the results were beyond spectacular. Reaganomics unleashed an explosive growth of wealth and prosperity, the largest in the history of humankind. Some 20 million jobs were created. Unemployment dropped to 5.3 percent. The gross domestic product growth rate hit a high of 6.8 percent, and the total economy grew by nearly a third. Inflation dropped to 3.2 percent. Even the oil shortage was solved almost overnight.

    Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan.

    President Obama entered office peddling the false hope that government can “spread the wealth.” This is as foolish as bucketing water from one end of a swimming pool to the other. At best you achieve nothing; in reality, the spilled water along the way leaves everybody worse off.

    Obamanomics favors top-down compulsory cooperation over voluntary. It is the anti-Reaganomics. Mr. Obama has done the following: (1) raised taxes, (2) unleashed a wild orgy of spending, including his disastrous so-called “stimulus,” (3) dramatically increased regulations and even nationalized industries and businesses, and (4) printed money out of “quantitative easing” thin air.

    The results were predictable. Since the Obama stimulus – a collection of “shovel-ready” projects promised to save the economy – was signed into law, America has lost 1.9 million jobs and unemployment has surpassed 9 percent. GDP growth remains anemic. Consumer confidence has tumbled. Gas prices were at $1.81 per gallon before Mr. Obama put his “boot on the neck” of suppliers, and now it’s more than doubled, to $3.81. We burn our food supply in our gas tanks, and grocery prices have skyrocketed – some staples by as much as 40 percent. Since the president signed his mortgage rescue plan, Americans have seen 3.82 million foreclosures. Most disturbingly, the majority of Americans are receiving some type of welfare.

    Want to better understand Obamanomics? Look no further than “cash for clunkers,” Mr. Obama’s laughably misguided idea to use American’s wealth to, quite literally, destroy American’s wealth, to use taxpayers’ money to destroy taxpayers’ working automobiles. Despite the propaganda, these weren’t “clunkers” at all. I continue proudly to drive one myself. Edmonds.com estimated the cost per new car sold at $24,000. Some estimates are much higher. A year later, auto sales were at their worst in 27 years and Americans – low-income Americans in particular – are suffering a government-created shortage of low-priced cars. Still the Democrats claim that the clunkers program “has been successful beyond our wildest dreams.” The truth is, it was motivated by environmentalism, not economics. It reflects Mr. Obama’s arrogant belief that he knows better than you what type of car you should drive. Controlling your behavior is one wild dream, indeed.

    Mr. Obama, abandoning any pretense of economic literacy, has placed the blame for unemployment squarely on America’s archenemy: the ATM. The jobless rate remains high, according to the president, because – it’s hard to make this stuff up – “when you go to a bank you use the ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller.” Other Democrats share his ignorance. Recently, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. claimed that Apple’s iPad was “probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs.” Mr. Jackson, an iPad owner himself, adds hypoc-risy to ignorance.

    Mr. Obama, meet Ned Ludd. In the early 1800s, the Luddites – named for Ned Ludd, an alias used to conceal their leaders’ true identities – sabotaged factories for fear of new technology. Their mistake was a belief that jobs themselves are prosperity when, in fact, it’s the products and services of those jobs that create prosperity. The government could hire people to dig holes and other people to fill them back in, but America would be poorer for the wasted effort. In reality, new technologies, from the advent of the wheel to today’s nanotechnology – including the ATM and the iPad – increase efficiency, which frees people for more important endeavors. This is the precise mechanism that improves mankind’s standard of living.

    And now, as Obamanomics continues to crumble, the president has made a stunning admission: ” ‘Shovel-ready’ was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” The line drew laughter from his friendly audience. This is not the first time his own supporters have been caught laughing at Obamanomics. Last week – before the Democratic National Committee, no less – the president made this wild claim: “Over the last 15 months, we’ve created over 2.1 million private-sector jobs.” That despite the record showing America has 1.9 million fewer jobs today than before his “stimulus.” According to the White House’s own transcript, what followed next was “laughter” (until later, that is, when Orwellian Ministry of Truth officials in the administration scrubbed the record and changed the transcript to read “applause”).

    Americans are suffering, Mr. President, and it’s no laughing matter. It’s time to put Obamanomics where it belongs: on the trash heap of history. Got a shovel?

    Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and President Obama’s cousin.

    © Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC

    • frk said, on July 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      “Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and President Obama’s cousin.”.

      There’s a set of credentials that can’t be argued with. . . 🙂 🙂
      I read that, saw that the article was published in the Washington Times, and, well, you know the rest. . .

      • magus71 said, on July 2, 2011 at 8:24 am

        Are you disputing th facts which the author raises?

  7. frk said, on July 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Nope. . I’m saying 1/ know the political rep of the Washington Times 2/it’s an ‘opinion’ piece
    3/ the writer’s a diagnostic radiologist*! for God’s sake. A radiologist’s opinions about how our economy went wrong and how it could be made right! I doubt he’d keep an objective perspective. It would be nice of him to point out that GWB entered office with a 4.2 unemployment rate and left it with an 8.2 unemployment rate –some would say higher.

    He has his beliefs, but I wouldn’t rely on ‘him’ to lead our country out of this morass Bush got us into with Medicaid D, two wars-one a war of choice– and reducing taxes during a time of war (had a kind of predictable result didn’t it?)

    As Homer says “Phfft! Facts. You can use them to prove anything” The truth behind that statement lies in the subjectivity with which the facts are combined and applied.

    I’m guessing not all diagnostic radiologists can look at all x-rays, MRIs, etc. and agree completely on diagnosis. But Dr.Wolf knows the economy, and he’s got the answers. Sorry. I don’t buy it.

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